Quit your jibber jabber

by | Feb 6, 2017

This is showing my age and making me feel nostalgic for Saturday evenings spent watching the A-Team.  Ahh! Those were the days.

And that was also the time when the NHS was only 40 years old.  Now, in 2017 when the NHS is nearly 70, the A-Team are looked on fondly by 40 somethings and the NHS is being ridiculed and maligned for failing on just about all fronts.

In contrast myself and Mr Plug the Gap have been box setting Breaking Bad.  I’m sure most of you have watched it or at least know the premise.  Walt is diagnosed with an inoperable cancer and as a chemistry whizz decides the way forward is to cook up the best meth in New Mexico to fund his treatment and ensure his family are sorted once he’s died.  He parks his morals for the sake of his family and after all, what’s he got to lose, he’s going to die.

As we started watching we both commented on how lucky we are to be in the UK where we take it for granted that we will receive treatment should we require it. If we get cancer we don’t have to decide whether or not we will get treatment.  We don’t have to weigh up the odds of surviving it and if we don’t how financially impacted our loved ones will be.

Then I started watching the new 6 part documentary called hospital.  As a staunch supporter of the NHS I decided that this could only be watched when my nearest and dearest were not around, so I could rant and rail and blub to my hearts content.  The team at St Mary’s and the rest of Imperial College are in an unwinnable situation.  How do you decide who gets the operation and who doesn’t? Who you can treat and who you can’t? If you are able to accept the next critically ill or injured person who is brought in by ambulance?

This sucks!

So maybe our conviction that we would be treated no matter what, isn’t as guaranteed as we thought.

I cannot imagine getting up every day and willingly going off to a job that is this fraught with conflict and impossible decision making.  It makes me grateful I don’t do it, which is a totally selfish standpoint.  The gratitude of one middle age woman isn’t going to make this situation better “Ahh, Julie from Middle England is really grateful we’re making this decision and she’s not.  We can all rest easy.  Now let’s discuss which of these two people are going to die because we can’t operate on them!”

It also makes me think that whilst the charity sector, which I so love, is taking a right royal kicking at the moment, we should stop our whining and quit our jibber jabber.  If we think we’ve got it hard, on the whole we are not directly consigning someone to a death sentence. I know that the services that we provide within the sector are vital, and for many are a lifeline.  I know that we have some gut wrenching decisions to make about which services get cut or scaled down.  But it’s still not death.  Isn’t it time we pulled ourselves out of our collective sulk and started looking at all the amazing things we do rather than dwelling on all of the crap we are taking, and all of the stuff we can’t do? We’re very close to doing nothing rather than doing something because we’re too focussed on being sad or how upset we are because the playground bully has called us nasty names.

I can imagine how many support groups around the country have a tenet of ‘others won’t help you until you start helping yourself’.  Well maybe it’s about time we took heed of our own advice.

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